Note: Background noise and hiss as on original tapes. Begins and ends abruptly.
Description: TAPE 1: Side A description: Silence [00:00]; The Gateway Singers, father's advice on segregation [00:08]; Playing with white musicians in the South in the 1930s [01:25]; Brownie's Alley [03:27]; WNYC radio show [05:39]; Lead Belly, Josh White [08:07]; Alan Lomax, music brings people together [11:42]; His father, childhood, corporal punishment and obedience of children [13:52]; Father's aphorisms, "you don't know big wood from brush" [18:26]; Left home in 8th grade, The Depression, finishing high school [20:26]; Sisters [22:54]; No depression in rural Tennessee, food and canning at home [25:18]; Depression hits in 1934, high school graduation class [27:30]; Cleaning and laundry [30:30]; Father's iterant work and effect on the family's housing [33:48]; His father never wanted to work on August 8th [36:45]; Father's pay "$1300 in the bank" [38:25]; His mother babied him because of his polio [40:37]; Polio, John Hopkins Hospital surgery, playing sports, girls [42:15] Side B description: Silence [00:00]; Discussing photographs, concert tour [00:22]; Girlfriend's heart attack, tour of Australia and New Zealand [05:02]; Discussing photographs [09:18]; Blind Boy Fuller [12:30]; Discussing photographs [14:50]; Selling voodoo charms on street [16:55]; Working with medicine shows and con artist in West Virginia [17:36]; Traveling from town to town on bus [24:20]; Medicine shows [27:03]; Scotch and milk [31:30]; Blues is truth [35:58]; New York City as a con world, press coverage [39:00]; Sonny Terry's sickness, music touring business [40:10]; Performing for royal family in Nepal [47:15]
TAPE 2: Side A description: Silence [00:00]; Partnership with Sonny Terry [01:20]; Woody Guthrie dinner incident in Baltimore, Maryland [02:52]; Sonny gets into fight with man who pushed Brownie [09:47]; Sonny cast in Finian's Rainbow [11:40]; Jane Dudley's "Harmonica breakdown" [14:45]; Sonny's singing style, J.B. Long [16:36]; Alberta Hunter, Bessie Smith [17:20]; B.B. King, problems keeping time [20:27]; Phineas Newborn Jr. [25:25]; Montreux Jazz Festival, refusal to let Styve Homnick take stage between he's white [29:05]; Quit traveling, fear of leaving house [33:17]; Brownie takes phone call [39:36]; Jimmy Rogers, Lonnie Johnson, Riverboat in Toronto, Canada [43:45]
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Interviewer: Wright, Leslie Ann Interviewee: McGhee, Brownie
Contact InformationAfrican American Museum and Library at Oakland, 659 14th Street Oakland, CA, 94612, Telephone: (510) 637-0200, http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/locations/african-american-museum-library-oakland